Pursuing an Academic Career Virtual Event Series

Interactive Teaching: January 21, 2011

Note: This event has already taken place. See the References and Resources section below for the presentation and resources from this virtual event.

3 pm Eastern| 2 pm Central| 1 pm Mountain |12 pm Pacific (1.5 hrs)

Leaders: Rachel Beane and Heather Macdonald

Registration deadline: January 17, 2011

This virtual event focuses on incorporating interactive teaching into lectures and labs as a means to engage students in their learning. Interactive teaching involves students in short individual, pair, or small-group activities. These type of activities help to keep students' attention focused, give all students the opportunity to practice and reflect, and are shown to increase student retention of the material. Interactive teaching also provides immediate feedback on what students are understanding and what misconceptions they may have. For this virtual event, we will discuss examples of Think-Pair-Share, Concept Map, Gallery Walk, and Jigsaw interactive teaching techniques. We hope you will join us!

Jump down to: References, resources, and the presentation from this virtual event

Goals for participants are to:

  • Learn about Think-Pair-Share, Concept Map, Gallery Walk, and Jigsaw strategies and examples.
  • Gain ideas for using these types of activities in your teaching.
  • Learn about the advantages of using interactive teaching activities to improve student learning.

Time - 3 pm Eastern | 2 pm Central | 1 pm Mountain | 12 pm Pacific
Duration - 1.5 hours
Format - Online web presentation via Elluminate web conference software with questions and discussion. Participants will receive an email with instructions detailing how to log into the event approximately one week prior to the event.
Registration - There is no registration fee, but registration is required to save a space. Space is limited to 25, so please be sure you can commit before registering. Registration closes when the spaces fill or January 17, 2011, whichever comes first. Please complete the registration form if you are interested and able to participate.
Preparation - To prepare for this virtual event, please watch this 2.5 minute video clip of the Think-Pair-Share method in action. As you watch, please consider How does the faculty organize the activity? and What are the students doing during the activity?

Please email Rachel Beane (rbeane AT bowdoin.edu) if you have any questions about this event or Monica Bruckner (mbruckne AT carleton.edu) if you have technical questions.


Rachel Beane is an Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College where she has been on the faculty since 1998 and served as department chair. She has been a co-leader for On the Cutting Edge Early Career, Career Prep, and Pursuing an Academic Career workshops. Her introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses emphasize field- and instrument-based laboratories and writing, and incorporate interactive teaching activities and authentic research projects. Her research interests include convergent margin processes, ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism, and microstructural studies using electron backscatter diffraction.

Heather Macdonald is a Professor of Geology at the College of William and Mary where she has been on the faculty since 1983. She has served as department chair, as Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and as co-director of the undergraduate marine science minor. In addition to her undergraduate courses, she also teaches courses for graduate students on college teaching and college science teaching.

References and Resources

Watch the ScreenCast (MP4 Video 196.4MB Jul31 17)
of this event

Interactive Teaching Presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 11.9MB Jan21 11) -by Rachel Beane and Heather Macdonald, slides presented at the January 21 virtual event.

Teaching Methods
The "what, why, and how" to use interactive teaching methods in your classroom or lab with references, resources, and a set of example activities:
  • Interactive Lectures - Includes info about methods such as using ConcepTests, Think-Pair-Share, Question of the Day, and more.
  • Concept Maps - Information and references about concept maps.
  • Gallery Walk - activities get students out of their chairs to actively work together.
  • Jigsaws are an option when you have several related data sets you would like students to explore. In a jigsaw, each student develops some expertise with one data set, then teaches a few classmates about it (and learns about related data sets from those classmates).
  • See the Pedagogy in Action project for a comprehensive list of teaching methods with the "what, why, and how" to use them in class, related references and resources, and activity examples from various disciplines.
Other Resources and Opportunities
  • Large Classes - resources and tips for teaching large classes.
  • Preparing for an Academic Career website - this series of pages provides tips and resources for preparing for an academic job, including the job search, preparing to teach, and moving your research forward to a new institution.
    • Each summer, we offer a multi-day workshop (the registration deadline for this summer's workshop is March 11, 2011), designed specifically for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are interested in pursuing academic careers. Participants meet informally with other participants and with workshop leaders from a range of educational settings, share ideas and strategies for stress- and time-management, and develop a self-inventory of preferred options for the next career stage and a personal action plan.